It’s 5:13 a.m. and I’ve been up for 2 hours already. I just checked the time for today’s sunrise, I’ve never done that before, but I’m anxiously awaiting for dawn to appear (and a more appropriate time to wake everyone up with my loud coffee brewing). We left our home last night, and are waking up this morning, this very early morning, to new surroundings. Maybe the newness is keeping me awake, or maybe it’s something else, a stirring of excitement and hope for days ahead. Either way I’m awake, awake with hope and joy, and I thank God. The campground we’re staying at has exceeded my expectations, and I feel as if God helped me pick out a perfect campsite. The kids have room to ride their bikes and scooters. Also, nestled between our campsite and the forest is a picture perfect, grass covered, tree lined path leading us to the playground. There’s nothing more glorious to a child than the experience of a new playground. And there’s something about getting away together as a family, with all the newness and exploring, that fosters connection in a way you can’t always get when you’re at home doing the same things day in and day out. There’s been a stirring in our hearts lately for this connection and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us. Lately we’ve felt led by the Holy Spirit to lighten our load, so we’ve been busy selling and giving our possessions away. Not all of them, just the ones that don’t serve us any purpose or joy, and we’ve got rid of quite a bit. Not one thing is going with us when this life is over, and not one thing has ever brought me joy, comfort, and peace like my God and my family have. So, like the apostle Paul I count it all as loss, no thing or experience could ever compare to the joy I’ve found knowing and following Christ. The things of this earth have no hold on my heart, my heart belongs to Jesus. I pray wherever this post finds you, whether it’s hours before sunrise, midnight, or the middle of the afternoon, that you know there is a God who loves you and cares about every detail of your life. He planned a wonderful life for you, plans for good, not evil, plans to give hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11) and in seeking him you will find it. A life of connection and adventure is calling and I believe with each sunrise, and every moment of courage and surrender we will find a life that stirs up all kinds of hope and joy along the way, hope and joy to carry us from earth to eternity. Let the journey begin.